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Cycle your training for maximum strength gains!
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Periodization To Maximize Strength Gains!

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“There is an alternative to the old fashion pain, torture, and agony method of training — try periodization - to maximize strength gains.”

Last updated on October 12, 2020

The days are gone when pain, torture, and agony are the only way of developing strength. The new philosophy of getting bigger, stronger, and faster deals with the topic of cycling or periodization. The two terms are essentially the same. They involve the athlete or coach altering the weight training cycle by adjusting the intensity (how hard), duration (how long), and-or frequency (how often) of each weight training bout and-or exercise. The periodization system works on a percentage base of the athlete’s one repetition maximum (1RM). Cycles can last from two weeks to five weeks.

Using a five week cycle the training regimen would go as follows:

NOTE: Using this system for strength development it is important to never exceed the percentage limits placed on you by the week number of the training period. For example, If you feel that during week number two you are capable of lifting 93 percent of your 1RM, don’t! Stay within the 85 percent limit stated for that week.

During the first two weeks of the training period the following sets and repetitions should be incorporated:
A) Olympic style lifting movements 5x5
B) Powerlifting style lifting movements 5x3

For weeks three and four the following sets and repetitions should be followed:
A) Olympic style lilting movements 4x3, 2x1
B) Powerlifting style lifting movements 2x5, 2x3, 2x1

The fifth and final week of the cycle is a time to test and rest. Alter testing for a new 1RM in each lift, you can prepare a new training regimen using your new maximums. This is as easy as it sounds, simply adjust your new 1RM poundages to the same percentages used on the last training period. For example, during your first training period you might have a IBM in the squat of 435 lbs. Your training poundages for that period would be as follows:

Now using your new 1RM of 450 lbs. In the squat, you simply adjust your training poundage. to the same percentages used in the previous week. In other word., your training percentages are a constant during each week. Your new 1RM’s, on the other hand, are constantly changing and your training poundage. must also continue to change In order to continue placing stress on the body; therefore, forcing the body to adapt (principle of overload). Your training poundage. for the next five week period, 11 your new squat 1RM was indeed 450 lbs. would be as follows:

This form of periodization can go on for as many as four to five cycles and can be used to peak for contests.

Before initiating your periodization program, it is important to have developed a solid base utilizing several exercises which have given your body a strong foundation from which to add onto. Once you have begun the cycle, limit your number of exercises between four and six. Any more than this and you begin to limit your gains. Some suggested exercises are the squat, bench press, deadlift, military press, incline press, high pulls, snatches, clean and jerk, and power cleans.

When incorporating the periodization training method, development of the lower body should be emphasized twice a week and the upper body development two times per week, on alternating days. As mentioned before, you can use several cycles in a row because at the conclusion of each five week cycle you are adjusting the poundage. and in some cases the program. Of course the rest at the conclusion of the fifth week is important to allow the body time to adapt and revive itself.

The program works and is very motivating, because you are always peaking and adjusting for your new gains in strength. The “test and rest” week is both pleasing to the mind, which has a chance to visualize the results through the test for new 1RM’s, as well as physically giving your body same time off from the periodization training cycle. There is an alternative to the old fashion pain, torture, and agony method of training — try periodization - to maximize strength gains.

Tags: Strength Life Strength Programs

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